How to determine spam backlinks

So I know that after the Penguin fiasco, G has decided to be s.t.upid & tell everyone that THEY have to police all their backlinks.

Of course this makes NO logical sense at all to me, b/c how can a person/biz know where ALL people put the URL to their site? You can’t control what other people online do? That’s just NUTS IMO.

I heard the following from several people & I don’t know if it’s true or not, but if it is, I’m PISSED.

  1. Even if I put my link here in a thread to show you something, that’s considered a BAD backlink b/c SP has nothing to do with my industry. That means every time I’ve posted on a forum I’m being penalized.

I have to assume, but don’t know if putting the URLs in my signature is also considered BAD.

What if I put my link in a classified site like CL? Is THAT considered bad too b/c I am not part of the classified industry???

What if an industry that has nothing to do with mine but is complementary posts my URL on their site? They should be ALLOWED.

Just FUed IMO.

  1. I traded links with many sites within my industry & a few similar industries all last year & the year before. I never checked to see if their site was considered bad or good, I just traded.

Now I’ve learned that if THAT site is considered bad, that I’m going to be penalized.

The amount of work it will take to contact everyone & TRY to get the links removed is enormous, & what if they don’t respond or comply? Then what is a company supposed to do?

Again, this makes NO logical sense to me at all & IMO & I feel this new rule is very dangerous. While I understand they wanted to get rid of the link farming angle, obviously there’s a HUGE difference between my links being on a farm (which they shouldn’t be as I didn’t put them there) & them being on a site that I don’t own or have control over, but is part of my industry.

Of course this means competitors can now bring down their competition by placing their competition’s sites on link farms or bad sites. Anyone who wants to hurt others (there are hundreds of mean spirited people online) can now do so.

So my question is, what steps do I need to take to figure out if a site that has my link on it is considered bad by G’s standards?

What have you guys done to solve this problem?

Thanks & sorry for the rant, but I’m still pissed.


Forums like these are “no-follow”, so such links are irrelevant to Google.

My personal feeling is that people lose far too much sleep over this sort of thing … I wouldn’t worry about all this so much.

Obviously spoken from someone who hasn’t lost their entire business. No offense.

The pont about the no-follow liks is that Google ignores them, so at least from the forum point of view, there’s no penalty posting links here.

I’d be surprised if Google alone can destroy a business. I guess the important thing is not rely solely on search engine results for business success. It’s kind of like the old “building your house on sand” principle.

That may be true for this forum, I’m not sure about other forums.

As for online businesses only relying upon G organic, there hundreds of thousands of sites just like mine who have been affected by this. Just go do a search & see how many companies are going out of biz.

When G monopolizes the market, this is what one gets. It’s not like I want it to be that way.

If a company has a huge marketing budget, ok fine, but micro & small bizes usually don’t or at least I didn’t.

So I don’t think I built my house on any sand trap. My sites were always in the #1 spot up until April & I’ve been online in biz since 2002.

Sure, but my point is that if your business is totally reliant on organic Google ranking, it is build on sand. I don’t know the stats elsewhere, but the traditional failure rate of businesses where I live has always been extremely high anyway—long before there was ever an internet or a Google.

As an aside, how are you / were you determining your Google ranking? They can be very deceptive, especially if you are logged in to Google. Google serves up different results to different browsers based on their internet usage, searches and so on. So to get a good idea of where you really rank, you need to be logged out and ideally try a range of computers in various locations where the user has not previously searched for services like yours. (You may know this, of course, but just sayin’ … :slight_smile: )

Yes I remember a couple of months ago how amazed I was when I found out that I could search using 2 different browsers from the same computer & get 2 different results. I think that’s FUed, but that’s just me. Different location I can understand, but browser? LOL

I didn’t know you had to be logged out of Google. That’s a first.

I’m using Webmaster tools now to find out SERPs.

And I agree that I should have tried to advertise more outside of Google, but I tried different areas & they never worked. I only ever made sales from G & I didn’t have tons of funds so I just said forget it & stuck with organic.

While I wasn’t making top dollar before, at least I was able to keep my head above water.

My point I guess is that this probably didn’t hurt the companies that it was intended to hurt (I’d love to read a survey about how many spam type sites were wiped off the face of the map), it sounds to me like it hurt companies that didn’t overtly try to do anything wrong. Just the small mom & pop shops who couldn’t afford to write articles every day nor did they have tons of content to write articles on.

While ignorance is no excuse, since G never tells anyone what is going on, in this case one is in the dark.

That coupled with the fact that one never knows who to trust when it comes to SEO, we are all basically SOL.

Like on another forum this so called expert is accusing me of trying to manipulate G b/c my buy buttons all have different alt tags on them which is what you were supposed to do. So now I’m back to being VERY confused about what is wrong with my site since I had NO idea that was a no no.

He’s making it seem you aren’t allowed to do ANYTHING to try & rank higher in the SEs, meaning NO overt work to try & rank. What’s amazing about that, is that I never used to do any SEO before other than put kws into my webcopy (is that wrong too now??? Geeze). I always naturally ranked #1. The kws on those buttons were put on there like 4 years ago.

Anyway, thank you :slight_smile:

Any business that relies on free traffic from a free ranking in a free search engine is destined to fail.

Different location I can understand, but browser? LOL

Well, I meant it in terms of whether or not you are logged in with that browser, how many cookies have been collected and so on.

Personally, I tend to feel we’ve all forgotten what Google is and have come to rely on it too much. Those guys just had an idea to record all the sites on the web and allow this info to be searched. It’s a handy tool for finding things … but now we expect this site to be accountable to us and help our businesses … which isn’t really its purpose.

Google does post a lot of info about what it considers good SEO practices.

[font=verdana]What’s your source for this? I’ve not come across anything that says that, and I would be amazed if it was true. The main reason I would be amazed is because it would then be trivially easy to cripple your competitors by setting up a bazillion links to their sites from crappy link farms. What could they do about it? Nothing. Would that be in any way fair or reasonable? No. So I really doubt that it is going to be a significant factor in Google’s algorithms.

What I think they are doing is asking webmasters to take responsibility for their outbound links. You have no control over who links to you, but you have full control over who you link to (and if your site includes UGC, you can retain that control by marking those links as nofollow). They don’t want sites to be giving out links left, right and centre to any old Joe, they want webmasters to only give links to sites that are relevant and worthwhile. So I could easily see a website that has loads of crappy outbound links being penalised for polluting the web and making Google’s job of determining which links are valuable and which are spam more difficult.[/font]

The first question here is: did you actually notice a drop in serp ranking, and if so for which keywords?